Catholic Dictionary




Feeling of prejudice and hostility toward the Jews. The term was used in 1879 in a pamphlet attacking the Jews as descendants of the biblical Shem. On this subject the Second Vatican Council stated that the Catholic Church "deplores all hatreds, persecutions, displays of antisemitism leveled at any time or from any source against the Jews" (Decree on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, 4). (Etym. Greek anti, against + Hebrew Shēm, son of Noe.)